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Starbucks CEO Cancels Speech at Church Over its Gay 'Reparative Therapy' Views, Ties to 'Ex-Gay' Org

Howard Schultz, the founder and CEO of Starbucks, has canceled a scheduled talk titled “How Starbucks Fought for its Life Without Losing Its Soul” at suburban Chicago-based Willow Creek Community Church, one branch of a megachurch formerly tied to "ex-gay" group Exodus International, following pressure from a petition on Change.org.

Schultz Said the petition:

The church that is sponsoring the event on August 11th and 12th has a long history anti-gay persecution. For decades the church was a member of Exodus International, the organization that seeks to cure homosexuality through dangerous conversion therapy. The church split ways with the group, but in doing so stated that it wasn’t a change in belief but a change in focus. The church also has their own “outreach” programs to the LGBT community to spread their anti-lgbt message.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Schultz' withdrawal from the leadership summit may also have had in mind the bad publicity the company received earlier this summer over a NYC barista fired for being gay. We reported on that here.

The Trib writes:

Though Starbucks confirmed Schultz no longer planned to be there, the company would not attribute it to a campaign launched last week calling on Schultz to denounce the church’s stance before the event.

Earlier this summer, the coffee company announced an investigation of allegations that an openly gay New York barista was fired for discussing his personal life because Starbucks had “zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind.”

Yuan Meanwhile, Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, plans to discuss  the church's views on homosexuality at the summit today.

Watch a presentation given at Willow Creek Community Church just this April in which Christopher Yuan gives his testimony with his father about "praying away the gay" and making a Journey to God.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. With all the problems facing our world (wars, hunger, poverty, homelessness, drugs, crime, etc.) you would think that churches would focus on something other than sexuality.

    Why are they so obsessed with sex?

    Repression does some pretty wacky things to these people...

    Posted by: johnny | Aug 11, 2011 7:59:12 AM

  2. churches can not defend themselves or change their behavior because they are too busy having sex with children and adults

    Posted by: robert mathies | Aug 11, 2011 8:53:52 AM

  3. Repression is where there power comes from, not from solving world hunger or disease. They go to poor countries and feed them so that they can repress them and use them. On the other hand, if Starbucks, TODs Shoes, New Balance and Target all want to give money to these people and do speeches with them Im OK with that. At least they make it clear which businesses to support. I have a list of businesses that I do not support and I thank them for making it easier.

    Posted by: MrJ | Aug 11, 2011 9:17:42 AM

  4. I'd pay close attention to Willow Creek's upcoming statement. They are probably evolving on this one, are fairly moderate, and could be a force for change among mega-churches. And talk about a bully pulpit if they were to get it right.

    Willow Creek is near me, (geographically, anyway) and is nothing if not business-savvy. I won't be surprised if they put their finger in the wind and conclude that same gender desire is common enough among their flock that homophobic views would empty the pews. Face it: religion is theater.

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 11, 2011 9:20:43 AM

  5. Howard Schultz is a raging liberal. Why the hell was scheduled to speak at a mega Church to begin with?

    Posted by: nodnarb | Aug 11, 2011 9:21:36 AM

  6. Ok, wait a motherfrackin second! This church cut ties with Exodus, re-evaluated its views on all its personal therapies, and now no longer believes that homosexuality is a choice that can be "cured" ... yet some dickwad gay activist STILL bullied them a silly petition?

    Ugh. Gays can be their own worst enemies.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Aug 11, 2011 9:34:29 AM

  7. Starbucks' stock peaked a few weeks ago at $41. It last saw levels like just before the recession started, then tumbled to something like $7 by 2009. It's currently at about $35. If the fluctuations and turmoil of the past few days are the herald of another major economic dip, Schultz may have more to worry about than speaking at churches. Starbucks may have a new fight on its hands.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Aug 11, 2011 10:15:20 AM

  8. Nodnarb: I think you have to sharpen your reading comprehension skills and then read the article again before commenting further.

    Posted by: John K. | Aug 11, 2011 10:19:52 AM

  9. NODNARB: Except they still believe that being gay means you must be celibate to be accepted by Christ:

    "But he did believe Scripture calls for gays and lesbians to be celibate, she said. 'Someone like Bill Hybels could change the world,' she said."

    So basically they're step-for-step with Roman Catholic beliefs that gays cannot change their sexual orientation but must never act on their sinful, sinful desires.

    Not what I would call "gay-friendly".

    Posted by: luminum | Aug 11, 2011 10:21:02 AM

  10. So what. At least they're actually evolving on the issue (and not the fake kind of "evolving" that Obama keeps peddling so he can avoid the issue).

    Posted by: nodnarb | Aug 11, 2011 10:32:24 AM

  11. Yes, it's wonderful that they've "evolved" all the way up to gays must live a life of complete total and utter loneliness due to their very existence being an abomination before their fictional god.

    If they're going to dedicate their lives to worshipping a fairy tale, why didn't they at least choose a nice fairy tale?

    Good for Schultz for coming to his senses.

    Posted by: ohplease | Aug 11, 2011 11:22:39 AM

  12. nodnarb is such a plant that it's not even funny. silly rabbit, trix are for kids.

    Posted by: B | Aug 11, 2011 11:29:48 AM

  13. LOL. Nodbarb has another agenda, and it has nothing to do with reason or facts, but rather the lens through which he apparently filters all information.

    Posted by: Jeff In Boston | Aug 11, 2011 11:30:29 AM

  14. A plant? WTF does that even mean? Please. I've been commenting on this blog for over 5 years now.

    And the only filter my reasoning goes through is common sense. You don't attack someone right after they've made some progress on an issue.

    Posted by: nodnarb | Aug 11, 2011 12:08:59 PM

  15. With people like Christopher Yuan, I can't help but thinking that they were probably not gay to begin with.
    Coupled with that, I find that talking about myself and my sexuality and even my religion to be quite easy WITHOUT the use of cue cards and sounding SOOO staged. It seems like it was written, possibly by someone else, to appeal to this audience.

    Posted by: brent | Aug 11, 2011 6:59:25 PM

  16. Well now I read more about this guy and I have no idea what to think of him other than- Happy that you are happy with your life Christopher Yuan; leave me alone with mine because I'm perfectly happy too.

    Posted by: brent | Aug 11, 2011 7:04:50 PM

  17. When are the ignorant and christian part of our society going to realize, you DO NOT CURE GAY, and accept for what it really is. A struggle for anyone who comes out. Don't they realize how fricken hard that is?????????????

    Posted by: Natalie | Aug 11, 2011 7:23:30 PM

  18. ItI is absurd to ask a church to endorse what is an abomination to God. 2/3 of gay men were initiated as a child through an adult gay man. ALL those boys changed orientation by frce, not by birth or choice. This is Rape and child abuse and all the pontificating in the world will not change this basic truth. This is why the gay activists and Barack Obama are in bed together - they lie profusely, are intolerant of people with well thought out and sincerely held and practiced beliefs, and ignores the fact that most crime against gay people is by OTHER gay people. Talk to police officers. They will tell you how they know a person was murdered by a gay person. It is repulsive but consistent with the rebellion that is intrinsic to abandoning natural sexuality. Homosexuals can be delivered and I know that personally. This wiser group does not want to lose people despite higher suicide rates and other issues which they seek to "solve" by hating those who are compassionate and seek to redeem rather that simply condemn and ignore.

    Posted by: John T | Feb 22, 2014 5:07:50 PM

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